Stay Original, a collection of independent boutique pubs with rooms, is to double the size of its portfolio as it looks to be a business that is ‘completely sustainable’.
Formerly the Draco Pub Co, the group currently comprises five boutique hotels and inns across the south west, having expanded steadily since its conception in 2011.
Now managing director Rob Greacen has told Boutique Hotelier of ambitions to grow the portfolio to 10 properties, as the Stay Original brand continues to gain momentum.
“We’ve got five now and we definitely want to get it to about 10,” he explains. “We think 10 economically then puts you in a position to be completely sustainable and independent; you have sufficient sales and staff and scale to almost run itself. So that’s our main goal and that’s what we are focused on.
Greacen said that it will be 10 ‘very different properties’ that are consistent in service and quality.
He stressed they wouldn’t be looking to expand in size per hotel; their biggest property is The Kings Arms in Dorchester with 33 bedrooms which is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment.
“We aren’t going to start doing bigger and bigger,” he tells BH. “I won’t start talking to you about a 150-bedroom hotel in Cornwall, it’ll never be like that. It will be interesting properties that fall into this category.
“The model has worked out and now we just have to find more places where we can do it. It’ll be in the West Country, we don’t want to go too far away – there is a big benefit to being close to one another because we swap staff around all the time.”
Stay Original was started by three friends in 2011 when Greacen, together with Pat Gill and James Brooke-Webb, bought The Swan in Wedmore and renovated it before reopening to the public.
They have since added properties in Somerton, Bradford on Avon, Shaftesbury and Dorchester, to the offering, each one with first-class service, authentic style and local character at the core.
After The Swan, The White Hart in Somerton opened, followed by Timbrell’s Yard in Bradford on Avon, The Kings Arms in Dorchester, which was acquired in 2015 and The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury in 2016.
Read more on this in our interview with Rob Greacen in the February issue of Boutique Hotelier, out next month.